The claims journey — What to expect after lodging a QBE home building insurance claim
If your home is impacted by an unexpected event such as severe weather, it can be an extremely emotional time, so having home insurance in place is bound to be a relief. But what happens after you lodge a claim?
“Our teams and our QBE supplier and repairer partners are here to help you every step of the way,” says QBE’s Arron Mann, General Manager of Short Tail Claims.
“Our goal is to either repair, rebuild or replace your property, and when we do, this comes with a guarantee on the quality and the workmanship. Whilst every situation is different, the following process is common for QBE Home Building Insurance claims,” adds Mann.
When you lodge a claim, we ask a range of questions to understand what happened, to determine whether the event is covered by the policy, and to understand the extent or severity of the damage. Then, if needed, we’ll get qualified professionals on site to undertake emergency repairs and help us assess the damage.
Here’s a breakdown of what to expect.
Step 1. Safety first
Your safety is our priority. Your property may be seriously damaged after an insured event and unsafe to live in.
If that’s the case, we’ll arrange temporary emergency repairs to make your home liveable again, which are called ‘make safe’ repairs. Or, if the damage is too severe, we’ll organise temporary accommodation until a make safe can be done or the full repairs are completed.
After repairs are done, your claims officer and/or our assigned repairer partner will let you know the next steps.
Step 2. The assessment starts
If a repair or rebuild is needed, our appointed builder partner — or a loss adjuster in some cases — will help us gather the information we need to support your claim.
They will visit your home to assess the damage and ascertain what needs to be done. This is called an assessing report, which includes a description of the damage, what caused the damage, as well as photos or video. This is then provided to QBE as part of an authorisation and approval process.
They’ll understand it’s a difficult time, so will manage your claim with care.
“Our repairer partner will look at the circumstances, work out the extent of the damage and value of the claim. They usually meet you on site to assess the damage and help to answer any questions.”
“However, if the damage is minor, photos supplied digitally may be enough for us to progress your claim,” Mann explains.
Step 3. Coverage is determined
Together with the QBE preferred builder, our claims team will review your specific policy details and cover against the cause of damage to your home.
Once cover has been confirmed, we’ll approve your claim.
If you’re a QBE Home Insurance customer, your policy automatically includes flood cover. QBE Home Insurance can also cover your property and possessions in case of fire, storm damage, theft and more.
If the claim or damage needs further clarification, our claims team will work with you and any appointed experts to make sure we get all the information needed. We’ll keep you updated throughout this process.
Step 4. The claim is settled
Once repairs and/or replacements are authorised and approved, you will need to pay the excess, which will be outlined in your policy.
Depending on your circumstances, a cash settlement may be preferable to repairing or rebuilding your home.
To help you decide if this is the best method of settlement, we’ll give you a Cash Settlement Information Sheet, which explains how cash settlements work and gives you an overview of things to consider before making your decision.
Step 5. The scope of works is agreed
For building claims where damage is being repaired, a full scope of works will be agreed with you and our QBE preferred supplier before we start work. This is a line-by-line breakdown of the repair work needed to fix things and complete your claim.
The scope of works provides a clear picture of how we plan to restore your home and helps us arrange repair quotes. It’s important to understand repairs can’t commence until the scope of works is agreed and signed by you.
So, if you have any questions or concerns it’s important to raise them straight away to avoid delaying your repairs. QBE and our appointed supplier partner will be able to answer any questions so you’re confident you understand the scope of work agreement and next steps.
See our Scope of Works Fact Sheet for more details.
Step 6. A start date is set
Once we agree on the scope of works, the builders will work with you to set a start date for the work. We always aim to get started as soon as possible, but you might need to be patient if you’re affected by an extreme weather event that’s caused widespread damage in your area.
If this is the case, there’s likely to be a high demand on resources and trades, as well as the supply of materials required to repair or rebuild your property. Remember, we’ll make your home liveable or provide you with temporary accommodation if required, but some inconveniences will be out of our control.
Step 7. Tradespeople start work
Our established panel of licenced builders and tradespeople will start work.
We’ll arrange the contracts and let you know the construction schedule. When you have work carried out by a QBE supplier partner, you’ll receive a premium service with a lifetime guarantee on the workmanship of the repairs.
QBE and our repairer partners will also manage local council approvals as needed.
Step 8. You’ll be kept in the loop
QBE will appoint a case manager to keep you updated right throughout the build. Our builder partner will also stay in contact with you.
Step 9. Your home is move-in ready
Once the building work is complete, our QBE preferred suppliers will sign off the works with you. When the works are signed off, you can move back into your home.
“That’s the moment you truly appreciate the value of having home insurance in place.”
Step 10. The claim is resolved
We’ll finalise your claim and let you know we’ve closed it off once every detail has been resolved.
What am I covered for?
Home and contents insurance can cover your property and possessions in case of fire, storm damage, theft and more. Read your policy, alongside the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for full details including limits, exclusions and conditions that apply.
Does my policy include flood cover?
Yes, our standard home insurance policy covers contents damaged or destroyed by flood. For further details, refer to your Certificate of Insurance and the relevant PDS.
Will I have to pay an excess?
An excess is the amount you agree to pay towards a claim. More than one excess may apply in some circumstances.
If you do need to pay an excess, you’ll usually pay it to your builder or repairer before they repair your property.
If it’s a contents claim and we replace your item, you can pay your excess to the supplier when you pick up your item. If your new item is being delivered, you’ll need to pay the excess before delivery.
Check the Additional Information Guide for your home policy, to see what excesses may apply. If you’re having financial difficulties and struggling to pay your excess, talk to your claims officer or call us on 133 723.
How long will it take to repair the damage to my property?
Once you pay any excesses and accept the scope of work, we’ll tell you how long the repairs should take. But there are some things that may affect timings:
- The type and extent of your damage
- If we need to involve more than one tradesperson
- The weather conditions
- If labour, materials or equipment are available
What if we find more damage after we start repairs?
If we discover more damage, we’ll assess if it’s covered under your policy. If it is, we can add it to your builder’s scope of works and authorise the additional works to be completed.
What if I want to make changes, rather than just return the damaged area to its previous condition?
You might be able to request changes during the repair process. But you may need to pay any extra costs involved or arrange your own tradespeople to carry out the work.
How do I claim?
If you’re insured directly with QBE, you can lodge your claim at qbe.com/au/online-claims or call our 24/7 claims line on 133 723.
If you bought your policy from a broker, intermediary or your financial institution, contact them to make your claim, or call us on 1800 023 387.